Day 11 – Make-Up and Samosas

Self – isolation. Two words: self, and, isolation. Self-isolation.

Thus far under my self-imposed (see what I did there) rules of self-isolation,  I didn’t need to wear makeup. I didn’t need to physically attend meetings, and if I was in sweats all day, well that was just A-Ok with my self-imposed rules because I was in self-isolation…

That all changed today, Self-imposed rules are now being rapidly amended…

Firstly I wandered out on a short local walk today, keeping quite a distance from everybody (as I’m in self-isolation) and bumped into my neighbours. When I say bumped into, I mean I saw them across the square and waved, and then they came over to chat to me (don’t worry the 2 metres was respected)…but even though I looked like a spy trying and failing badly to be inconspicuous (think cap and scarf over face), it was still close enough for me to know that they knew that I wasn’t wearing makeup…

I came home thinking, crap, I can’t have the neighbours thinking I am letting myself go in self-isolation.  So I made a self-appointed decision to self-amend my self-imposed rules on socially distanced outings while self-isolated (still following?)  to include the recommendation to wear make up if exiting the house.

But you know step one, I’d amended the rules, all was ok.. so I was ready to face into all those projects put on the long-finger for the afternoon before my test on the Navy Ship tomorrow (otherwise known as a  cup of tea with my neighbours – see yesterday’s post).

But THEN, just as I had settled in, another bleeding spanner in the works. The ZOOM band meeting that had been talked about for the past several days, was going to happen at 3pm. 3pm??? It was already 1.30pm. Now I had no way out of the make-up dilemma, and in fact the clothes I was wearing were just not up to video conferencing…Crap my self-imposed rules around self-isolating just were not holding up. I scrambled for a mirror, put something resembling respectable clothes on, applied the makeup, sent an agenda, and did the call.

The call was great. So many great ideas flying around. The self-imposed rules have been amended now : If not sick anymore, get up , get dressed for work, and put on the makeup. And on that note, now its time for oven baked Samosas…A great way to use up my utterly delicious homemade vegetarian curry. Another rule to add…Self-isolation cooking is food for the soul x


Day 10 – Cup of tea anyone??

Day 10  of self-isolation and I woke up feeling healthy and happy. Symptoms gone but still waiting on my test…this morning I was determined to tackle every single project I had put on the long finger over the last few months.

I also wanted to check out the LE Samuel Beckett, docked at the end of my street for several days now, and confirmed as the new city centre Covid -19 testing centre. It feels weird that to be tested for Covid19, for me anyway,  it will be at the end of my street, at a testing centre managed by the navy.

Weirder still is that one of my very first school friends that I ever had (yes from when I was 4), lets call him Kevin, is a navy officer, and when I’ve met him at Christmas over the last few years, he has always said to me that if they are docked at the bottom of my street (which they sometimes are), that I should call up for a cup of tea.

I never did that..I always kind of thought…hmmm it’s kind of weird to knock on the door  of a navy ship and ask if my friend can come out to play ( my friend the navy officer, let’s call him Kevin).

So my day went on from there. I decided to brave a very safe social distanced walk, first time out of my house in 9 days and wandered down to the ship.  It was surreal to say the least. I felt emotional and impressed all at the same time and grateful too. I’m someone who loves to laugh but every so often lately, the emotional impact of what’s going on creeps in a little.

But it was great to get out. When I got home, I got a text to say my Covid-19 test is on Wednesday (exactly one week after I was referred for it), beside the Irish Navy ship at the end of my road. Looks like I will be calling in for that cup of tea after all, just in very different circumstances.

Then I rang my Mum, to see how Dad and she were doing. They are grand thank God. They were relieved that I’m getting my test and had some questions they wanted me to ask when I get it e.g. if you get the virus, can you get it again?

And then I took a deep breath and remembered those projects I had put on the long finger, the fact that it is business as usual for me work wise just now, and just like that I got on with things.  Getting on with things just now wil be tinged with sadness , laughter, joy and lots more but I gotta keep getting on with it.

I posted a video of this tune to the Kíla pages earlier. It’s very soothing.

Day 9 of Self-Isolation and I’m feeling pretty happy…

Day 9 of home alone and I am in great form. I am not talking to the walls yet, actually I have cleaned my house,  thrown open the balcony doors and enjoyed feeling healthy and well. I’ve chatted to several friends, laughed hard at all the jokes that are coming my way and wished my Mum a Happy Mother’s Day.

I’m still waiting for my Covid-19 test but I no longer feel like I have symptoms and while I know I have quite a few more days of self-isolation left, I have to say positivity is what I feel today. I feel positive about the good humoured approach we are all taking with this and the camaraderie amongst us all. So many people have called me up this week and offered to do my shopping. As it happens I am well stocked, but that does not make me any less grateful for the offers and I expect I will have to call on one of those offers within the next few days.

The musicians I work with are also in good spirits and ideas are flying across WhatsApp groups of things we can do. I recently started doing some project work with A Lust for Life and they could not have been more understanding when I was out of action over the last few days.

There is a lot of doom and gloom and negativity. But there is also so much positivity. This crisis is bringing out the best in us all, and for me personally, as somebody who works with creatives, it is inspiring.

I’m feeling lucky and I’m feeling grateful. Just now I have everything I need, and actually more than that, a lot more. This pandemic which should bring disconnection as a result of self-isolation, has made me feel even more connected. If it is, as they say, the calm before the storm, then the storm will be coming up against a real rock hard foundation of people supporting each other.

I’m glad I am feeling better now and can hit the work ahead of me with gusto. I can do all that at home with my laptop and Wifi connection and once I am given the all clear, I too can offer help to all the people who have offered it to me over the last few days x






Laughter, Music & Corona

This time last week, and I find it hard to believe it is only a week ago, I was booking flights for Kíla to get them home from Paris where they were recording,  and where they would start a small St Patricks Day Festival Tour. I had put the tour together and was thrilled that they could pack in so much in several countries, over a very small period of time. By 9pm that night every single concert that hadn’t been cancelled , was cancelled, and they came home.

Fast forward to Thursday this week, today, and I am waiting for the call to be tested for Covid-19 having developed flu like symptoms on Monday lunchtime. My GP referred me but there is still a long waiting list. I’m not anxious , just practical. I have been self-isolating for 9 days now and since Monday have not left my home even to go to the shops. I have lovely friends nearby who were available to drop me in paracetamol yesterday when I ran out. If I have Covid-19, my only concern is that I infect nobody and I am confident I have taken every precaution not to.

All of my work is continuing regardless, and the musicians I work with have decided to share music on social media as regularly as possible, and we will commit do this for as long as we need. We know that we will suffer financially but we are working together, to brainstorm, and to keep that suffering to as low as it can be. It is without doubt a scary time but I am heartened by all the jokes flying around whats app and all the amazing musicians trying to brighten up peoples lives by posting movies, online performances and songs.

I can’t say I am looking forward to what the next few weeks or months will bring but for me I can only look at one day at a time. I work with people I admire and care about and will strive to do the best for both them and myself.

I have time now personally to be creative, to read more, and to switch off from social media more. Once I exit the self-isolation phase, I hope to get out in nature more, breathe more and now I can take more time off. I don’t have to push myself so hard. I can chill a little. I can be there for any friends or family who may be suffering during this time and I can look for the light, the lightness and the hope in all of this. I love to laugh and I love to listen to music. Both laughter and music can offer some healing at this time.

In the meantime follow Kíla @kilarecords and Aindrias de Staic @aindestaic to see the creative treats they have in store for you as we all lock down and stay safe.

Tabhair aire x


Have we become too politically correct?

And do we even know what that means anymore?

Social media will be the death of me…a phrase I utter every day now.

I would describe myself as a feminist, an egalitarian, a believer in respect for everybody, a compassionate  and caring person…while being no Mother Theresa. But I am increasingly perplexed by how to keep up with every latest politically correct word, statement and rule.

Facebook told me today a poetry book can’t be sold because it breaches it’s policy…but does it tell me what policy??…or indeed what the breach is?? Nope ( I have no idea) – Facebook is happy enough to plague me with ads for things I don’t want or need (which at times I find offensive) and plague me with fake news…but a poetry book breaches policy??

The poetry book is gorgeous. I love it – it’s written by Rónán Ó Snodaigh and it is about nature and all that is beautiful and terrible in nature and yet for some reason this book is breaching a policy that Facebook are unable to define? The policy of beauty and truth maybe?? (Maybe in their world that doesn’t sell) tells me I can’t use the word couple or single in my rental ad….I am in the process of renting a room and I have been inundated with emails from couples…there is not enough room in the apartment to rent to a couple…Why can’t I say no couples??? Like seriously…but I can’t. 

I put an application form in for Kíla recently and was asked does anybody in the group identify as a woman?? Em yes the women!!

This post may sound like a bit of a rant and to be honest it is a bit. As someone who strives to be compassionate, caring, kind and respectful, I quite honestly am perplexed by the political correctness that is being imposed on us all. Surely a better barometer of what is politically correct is: compassion, care, kindness and respect.


Border Crossings

Fridays were ‘Something Nice Day’ in my house when I was a kid…that was the day my Dad came home from Belfast. We lived in Dublin..he worked in Belfast. Something Nice Day meant he would bring us chocolate we couldn’t get in Dublin. Cadbury’s Freddy the Frog was my favourite…

On Monday mornings we dropped Dad to Glenageary train station….for years I thought Glenageary train Station was Belfast. Because that’s where we left him…on a Monday morning early.

My Mum must have struggled in those days…some weekends he would be very delayed returning home because there was a bomb on the trainline…but there were no mobile phones and no guarantee he was safe until he put the key in the lock of our home..

I remember visiting him up there and I remember being told to keep quiet at the border as we drove back. I always thought that was because of the chocolate I bought in Woolworths, but I think really it was the flour my mum bought up North for her amazing soda bread :)

My older brother was born in Belfast. I nearly grew up there.

Dad got a job in Dublin and I grew up in Dublin instead.

I grew up with the North as much a part of my life as the South even though I was raised in Dublin. When I went to university all of my best friends came from the North of Ireland (all from the Protestant tradition despite me being a Southern Gaelgeoir). We all knew that none of it mattered and we all were grateful for the Good Friday Agreement and peace.

My friend Claire’s Dad, Roy, died on Monday in County Tyrone.  A farmer, and a member of the Orange Order, one would think him and I would have little to chat about, what with an Irish difficult name and my vegetarianism..what could we have in common? It is true that we didn’t have much in common but his family buried him today and I was there with them…to them I am simply Cuives (as Claire has always spelled it), I am a friend of the family. Neither my birth place , nor my birth religion was ever of any importance.

That’s friendship, that’s family, and that’s Ireland. Brexit has no right to jeopardise this.


Who are you without your spiritual story? (A poem by Jeff Foster)

Who are you without your spiritual story?

Please, don’t talk to me about ‘Pure Awareness’ or ‘Dwelling in the Absolute’.

I want to see how you treat your partner, your kids, your parents, your precious body.

Please, don’t lecture me about ‘the illusion of the separate self’ or how you achieved permanent bliss in just 7 days.

I want to feel a genuine warmth radiating from your heart.

I want to hear how well you listen, take in information that doesn’t fit your personal philosophy.

I want to see how you deal with people who disagree with you.

Don’t tell me how awakened you are, how free you are from ego.

I want to know you beneath the words.

I want to know what you’re like when troubles befall you.

If you can fully allow your pain and not pretend to be invulnerable.

If you can feel your anger yet not step into violence.

If you can grant safe passage to your sorrow yet not be its slave.

If you can feel your shame and not shame others:

If you can fuck up, and admit it.

If you can say ‘sorry’, and really mean it.

If you can be fully human in your glorious divinity.

Don’t talk to me about your spirituality, friend.

I’m really not that interested.

I only want to meet YOU.

Know your precious heart.

Know the beautiful human struggling for the light.

Before ‘the spiritual one’.

Before all the clever words.